Expressing Emotions Is The New Yoga – Interview with Gozde Eyce
When the anxiety over imperfections or deadlines hangs over us like a cloud, take a cue from Gozde Eyce’s moody characters who express their emotions in a beautiful way. Through her lively work and breezy lifestyle, the Rotterdam-based illustrator reminds us that a peace of mind doesn’t always come from a smile, but more often from embracing our true feelings! Scroll down to enter her mesmerising world of imperfection that’s beautiful. Maybe you’ll be inspired to join the moody society.
AWW: Hi Gozde! Seeing your Instagram handle @themoodysociety we can’t help but start our interview by asking — what’s your mood today?
Gozde Eyce: Firstly, thank you for asking! I am happy and grateful. This summer brought a level of normalization and hope after a long pandemic. Being able to go back to my old daily routines becomes something I cherish now :)
AWW: Mood seems to play a huge part in your creations. Your human and animal characters have a wide range of facial expressions and they certainly don’t shy away from embracing emotions! What is the message you want to convey through your work?
Gozde: My drawing style is not realistic but my characters are! We are living in this world full of emotions, possibilities and changes. Similarly, my drawings are reflections of what we go through in our lives. We cry and laugh, and feel embarrassed, relaxed, weird and everything! I always would like to encourage children to welcome all our feelings and own them.
AWW: You are a self-taught artist with a business background. What made you decide to pursue your passion and become a professional children’s book illustrator?
Gozde: I have been drawing since I could hold a crayon. I studied business management and started working for big multinationals. During those 8 years, I never felt like I fit the corporate culture. But when I drew on my iPad, I realized how colorful, joyful and fun my drawings are and how they can become children's books. I held onto my courage and moved from Istanbul to Rotterdam finally! It was tough sometimes since I don’t have an art background, but the journey to creating things that bring happiness is satisfying and I am constantly developing my skills further.
AWW: One theme of your creations is to highlight the beauty in imperfection. What is your secret to spotting the joy and beauty from everyday life and surroundings?
Gozde: Perfection exists but what is more common is imperfection. As an artist, I always want to reflect on what is closer to our existence. Things are imperfect but unique in nature, I like observing and representing them in my own way. I think children also realize that not all things are perfect in life but they are still beautiful in their own way.
AWW: Your illustrations are born from your home studio with a very beautiful inspo wall! Can you share 3 things on your desk that have inspired you most recently?
Gozde: My desk is quite messy but I like how it looks! The first thing is my beautifully handmade mug. It is a gift from a friend that gives me a warm cup of tea and a big smile while I am creating!
Second one is a postcard featuring the work of Dutch painter Jan Sluijters. I got it from the Stedelijk Museum. The colors and brush strokes on the painting are quite impressive; highlighting the beautiful scenery from the amazing Netherlands, it is a powerful example of its era.
Lastly, my pencil shavings, which I’m collecting in this jar! They represent the hard work I’ve put into my creations. I am still looking for creative ideas on how to reuse them. :)
AWW: You are living in the vibrant city of Rotterdam! What are your go-to places for a perfect getaway or relaxing afternoon?
Gozde: Rotterdam comes with a population and architecture that is unlike any other Dutch city! It is like that weird person in every family, somehow you love it for its uniqueness. There are many hidden gems, but one of my favorite spots is the Veerhaven. This place is a marina next to Het Park and Museumpark. There are a couple of benches where you can sit, see and feel the vibe of the city. I am about to grab some snacks and go there to work, or sometimes to refresh with fresh air and do nothing. It offers a great sunset too.
Another place that I like to visit is Kralingse Bos. It is a huge forest with a picturesque lake in the center. I go there to walk my dog, sometimes to run with my partner, and even for sunbathing during summer.
As for cafes and restaurants, one of my favorite spots is Backyard, a beautiful and comfy vegan café. I like spending time there as it is quite homey where I can sit and draw for hours! And my favorite drink is the oat milk latte, I’m a vegetarian and trying to be vegan! Oh if you stop by Backyard, maybe you can still see my exhibition about sustainable living upstairs. Have fun!
AWW: What is an upcoming project you’re most excited about?
Gozde: Currently I am working on several book projects at the same time; every new project comes with the same excitement. Besides, I started to work with one kids brand for a clothing line and will work with an NGO! The best projects for me are with the people and companies that put sustainable living at the heart as I do.
To find out more about Gozde Eyce, please visit the artist’s IG account | @themoodysociety
All images provided by Gozde Eyce.